The power of social media 

Every small charity should consider the value social media channels may offer them in delivering on their mission. Some of these tools have great power in helping a charity substantially increase there visibility in their community. Additionally they act as a vehicle that a charity can use to tell or express their case for support. The video below describes how and why these channels can be such a powerful tool when used by a nonprofit. However the video also describes why nonprofit executives and leaders should be personally engaged -as well as their organizations.

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Don’t let your social media hurt your career

When you read a title like this you might think I am recommending that you don’t post any wild party photos or compromising photos on the Facebook page. Well I don’t recommend you post compromising photos for sure -but that is not what this vlog is all about. A colleague of mine was telling me that she needed to get better at using her own personal social media channels. She had just read an article that suggested that one of the things that will hold executives back in their career will be lack of social media effectiveness. In the video below I also talk about research done on a for profit sector. Towards the end of the video I talk about what social media factors increased a companies sales leads substantially over competitors who did not use social media. Now right now if you are a nonprofit professional you are probably thinking this doesn’t relate to me or my work place-but it does. In the nonprofit sector we have sales leads-we call them prospects, and some of the hints in the video do point to ways your charity can get more donors and find new prospects. 

Twitter Content that engages followers

We have had more than a few conversations around here about how many tweets per day is too much or too little. Over time I have come to believe if you want to inform your audience about the good work your cause does, or your need for support, or what the world would be like if your charity didn’t exist, you really have to focus more on content. Not that frequency or volume of posts is not important but your content overall should be both relevant and interesting to your followers. I have talked in earlier posts (or on video in my YouTube Channel) about the 80/20 rule, but on this video I talk a little bit about the social media rule of thirds when it comes to curating and developing content. Check out this video below for some tactics to keep your twitter content interesting and engaging for your followers.

Why Youth Philanthropy is so Important

At our organization we love it when children or youth decide to do a fundraiser for us. There is little that resonates with our stakeholders more than hearing a story about kids helping other kids. We tend to refer to these fundraisers as Third Party Events. Our chapter is fairly small local charity when compared to some international or national charities, however the funds raised by these third party events is by no means insignificant. For the fiscal year that just past groups doing third party events raised a million dollars for us- that is a lot of penny carnivals and lemonade stands.

However as important or maybe more important than the  dollar figure is the behavior inspired by these junior philanthropists. In the video below I talk about two of the youth who made a big difference to our charity. I will also talk about some of the ways we recognize and reward youth philanthropy (not that they are looking for any rewards).

How your charity can get more followers on Instagram.

If you have read my blog before you might have gathered that I like Instagram. My personal IG site/page is personal, but clearly a big part of my life involves leading and volunteering for charitable organizations. So as a result my personal IG page looks like a Hodge podge of charity posts mixed in with my family pics and pictures about my personal images. Not the I would recommend you manage your charities IG account or other social media in this way, probably quite the opposite, however my IG account has a few followers and I clearly am going to use my personal social media to gather support and awareness for the organizations that I am passionate about, that I work for, that I volunteer or that I donate to (or frankly in some cases all of the above).

However I do feel that Instagram is a powerful tool for a charity or a nonprofit organization. It is the old a “picture is worth a thousand words” adage. A charity that has a compelling story to tell -that can be visual should be utilizing this media. Now on social media you often hear people say that it is less important how many followers you have than  how engaged they are. There is some truth to this, however think about this if your charity was offered a 60 second commericial for free during the Super Bowl or you could have that same 60 second commercial on your local community access station -which would you chose? I am guessing you would choose the Super Bowl- why? because so many more people will see your commericial. Having more followers on IG means more people are going to see your story, see the important work you do in your community, and find out about your need for volunteers and donors. Okay so lots of followers is not everything, but lets face it having a few more than you have now isn’t going to hurt you and the likelihood is that the more you have the more donors and volunteers you are going to attract to do the important work you are doing in your community.

So with this in mind using hash tags on your IG posts is a great way to increase your following and the video below tells you exactly how to do this:

The gift of family

The gift of family

Our Ronald McDonald House Charities blog: Come on in!

Written by Brenda Cullum-Shergold, Home for Dinner Volunteer and BOWEN Employee

“The best gifts around the Christmas tree is the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.” ~Burton Hills

Sadie Leona-June Peoples, my granddaughter, was born on June 24, 2013 in Barrie, Ontario. Our family was overjoyed. She happily shared her birthday with her loving grandpa Gord, and she was our very first grandchild. Our family had much to celebrate.

Then, the unimaginable happened. We learned Sadie was born with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS), a serious problem where, for unknown reasons, the left side of the heart does not develop properly while the baby is in the mother’s womb. We knew there were risks early in the pregnancy so arrangements were made to get her to Toronto’s SickKids Hospital immediately.

Within 36 hours of her arrival in this world, Sadie quickly underwent open heart surgery. The news…

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NonProfit professionals why you and your charity need to be on Linkedin

I have to admit when I first set up a LinkedIn profile for myself – I really didn’t get the platform. It seemed like just a glorified online resume. Now I appreciate what the platform does for me personally as well as what it does for our charity. I interact a lot more with other professionals on this platform than some of my other personal social media channels. For our organization we will often post job ads on LinkedIn but we also know that if we post a job ad on our website and a few of our staff who are on LinkedIn re-post the link to their own network we will get quite a few more click thru’s as well as more applications. I personally will try to reach out to people who work in the sector. I am a nonprofit organizational leader so I know at some point I will be recruiting non profit finance people, fundraisers, social workers,  non profit marketing staff. If I hear about someone who works in these areas who has a good personal reputation I will reach out to them on LinkedIn, I may not have a job today- but when I do I want them to see my ad. Anyway, in the video below I talk about some of the reasons- you as well as your organization should be engaged on LinkedIn.

 

Top 5 ways Canadians Give to Charity

On average Canadians gave $531 last year to charity. In Alberta the average was a little higher at $596.96 per person. Although it would not be surprising if this average amount drops a little this year due to the dropping price of oil and the effect on the local economy. These stats came from an article last week in the Calgary Herald. The article was based on a recent Statistics Canada report. As an organizational leader for a nonprofit I am always thrilled to read any report about how people express there generosity and how they donate to charity. In the video below I talk about the top 5 ways listed in the report as the ways Canadians give to charity. Some of the ways will definitely not surprise you -but one or two just may.

Digital Fundraising by the numbers

Blackbaud has created an interesting website 50 Fascinating Philanthropy Stats. The video below discusses a number of these stats that relate to digital and online fundraising. As leaders in the nonprofit sector we need to be paying attention to the ways giving is changing and our donors preferences to have more options in the ways they financially support our organizations.